Latino students at Cañada College stand to enjoy enhanced science, technology, engineering and math training under a federal grant worth more than $4 million offered to the Redwood City community college.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM Program awarded $4.3 million to increase access to curriculum designed to build skills needed to compete in the local technology job market.
The federal money will also improve math courses for underrepresented minority students, according to a school press release, and help build partnerships clearing the path for those wishing to pursue degrees in innovative fields at four-year universities.
Cañada College President Jamillah Moore praised the award as a means of improving educational opportunities for students who need additional assistance.
“This grant will provide Cañada College with funds to implement innovative tools to support our students in achieving their STEM educational goals,” she said. “The jobs of the future depend on a STEM-educated workforce and we look forward to helping to shape the next generation of STEM students.”
STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the curriculum has become increasingly popular recently among schools seeking to meet the needs of students pursuing careers in the tech sector.
The money will also build a program making STEM careers and educational paths more available to students who may not have otherwise been interested in the fields, according to the report.
The school’s pitch for the money addressed local fields of need such as poor achievement in math, need for more professional development among teachers in STEM fields and a lack of awareness regarding modern and innovative educational and career opportunities.
A portion of the funds, doled out over the next five years, will pay toward building relationships between the Redwood City campus and other four-year universities with an eye toward establishing research opportunities for students and job training for teachers.
The funds will be allocated through the Generating Access to Navigate and Achieve in STEM initiative recently started at the school.
The federal organization offers more than $90 million to colleges serving Latinos across the nation, approximately $36 million of which will be given to California schools.
The STEM grant marks the second sizable award Cañada College has recently received from the U.S. Department of Education, as it took in $3.2 million to support the Expanding Student Opportunity Adelante Project as well.
The money is designed to improve college transfer and completion rates of Hispanic and other high-needs students, according to a school report.
Collaborative initiatives and partnerships will be built between Cañada College and San Francisco State University to help students transfer and stay engaged in their pursuit of a degree from a four-year university.
The money will finance establishing support and peer mentorship programs designed to prepare incoming students academically as well and keep them on the path toward success, even after transferring to another campus.
Funds will also pay toward professional development opportunities for teachers to establish a program available at both campuses supporting students who move from Cañada College to San Francisco State University.
“We are committed to ensuring that all our students start strong with their educational journey, get connected to pathways to transfer, stay strong on that road to success and finish strong through their transfer to four-year institutions,” Moore said in a prepared statement receiving the Expanding Student Opportunity Adelante Project grant.
The U.S. Department of Education also granted the school $750,000 recently through the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program.
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